During the Meiji era geography helped to shape Japan’s history. After the emperor was born, in 1853 Commodore Perry demanded trade and diplomatic relations between the USA and Japan and returned to sign the Treaty of Kanagawa, opening Japan after centuries of isolation.

In 1868, the emperor moved the capital from Kyoto to Edo (Tokyo – ‘Eastern Capital’) for a fresh start - the first time in 2000 years any emperor had crossed the mountains into eastern Japan. In 1871, forty officials embarked on a two year tour to Europe and North America to learn about their government and industry.

In this age of colonization, Japan felt it needed to take control of nearby areas - China and Korea. After winning the Sino-Japanese war with China, Japan was forced through international political pressure to yield some of the territory won to Russia. Japan would get revenge in the Russo-Japanese conflict, wherein Japan crushed the Russian navy, won back Port Arthur and emerged as a world power.

During the Meiji era geography helped to shape Japan’s history. After the emperor was born, in 1853 Commodore Perry demanded trade and diplomatic relations between the USA and Japan and returned to sign the Treaty of Kanagawa, opening Japan after centuries of isolation.

In 1868, the emperor moved the capital from Kyoto to Edo (Tokyo – ‘Eastern Capital’) for a fresh start - the first time in 2000 years any emperor had crossed the mountains into eastern Japan. In 1871, forty officials embarked on a two year tour to Europe and North America to learn about their government and industry.

In this age of colonization, Japan felt it needed to take control of nearby areas - China and Korea. After winning the Sino-Japanese war with China, Japan was forced through international political pressure to yield some of the territory won to Russia. Japan would get revenge in the Russo-Japanese conflict, wherein Japan crushed the Russian navy, won back Port Arthur and emerged as a world power.

© 2006, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. All Rights Reserved.

Commodore Perry is responsible for the signing of the Treaty of Kanagawa, ending Japanese isolation.

1853-1854 Commodore Matthew C. Perry is responsible for the signing of the Treaty of Kanagawa – ending centuries of Japanese isolation.

Unknown
Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia
1794 - 1858
UNITED STATES
JAPAN
© Public Domain


Emperor Meiji moved the imperial capital from Kyoto to Edo (Tokyo – ‘eastern capital’).

1868 Young Emperor Meiji moved the imperial capital from Kyoto to Edo (Tokyo – ‘eastern capital’).

Ginko Adachi
Gift of the Mina M. Mossler Estate
c. 1889
Kyoto, Tokyo, JAPAN
AGGV T2006.004.002
© 2006, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. All Rights Reserved.


The trade missions marked the beginning of western influence in Japan.

1871 Forty officials embarked on a two year tour to Europe and North America to learn about western style government and industry. This tour marked the beginning of western influence in Japan.

1871 - 1873
FRANCE
UNITED STATES
UNITED KINGDOM
GERMANY
JAPAN
© Public Domain


Japan’s victory in the Sino-Japanese war caused much enthusiasm and many events were captured in woodblock prints.

1894-1895 Japan’s victory in the Sino-Japanese war caused much enthusiasm and patriotism and many events of the conflict were captured in woodblock prints or dramatized on stage.

Unknown
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James Langley
19th Century
JAPAN
CHINA
AGGV 2004.026.057
© 2006, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. All Rights Reserved.


Japan’s victory over Russia stunned the globe and announced Japan’s place in the new world order.

1904-1905 Japan’s victory over Russia, until then considered a world power, stunned the globe and announced Japan’s place in the new world order.

Watanabe Nobukazu
Gladys Kathleen Newman Roffey Bequest Fund
c. 1904
JAPAN
RUSSIAN FEDERATION
AGGV 1990.027.001
© 2006, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

The following learning objectives have been created with considerable and specific reference to the Prescribed Learning Outcomes (PLOs) for various grades and subjects as outlined by the Ministry of Education for the province of British Columbia. The portions that directly reflect curricula language have been italicized. All applicable texts, websites, and other learning resources are listed in the bibliography under References.

• Students will understand how geography and specifically Japan’s proximity to certain nations like Russia and China, played a significant role in the nation’s history.
• Students will have an enhanced understanding of how geography influences or stimulates cultural borrowing.
• Students will appreciate the dramatic change of government in the symbolic move of the capital from Kyoto to Edo (Tokyo).
• Demonstrating their prior knowledge to interpret and use various types of maps, students will note Japan's respective location and size in relation to other nations visited during the two year trade mission, providing students with geographical context.
• Students will realize the enormous undertaking of the 1871 trade mission and its subsequent importance to the government of the day – particularly in establishing trade connections with North America and Europe, which may have encouraged the start of similar economic relationships between North America and other nations in the Pacific Rim.


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